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One Got Fat: Bicycle Safety

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One Got Fat: Bicycle Safety

Published 1963

A group of children, all wearing ape masks, rides their bicycles to the park for a picnic. Along the way, all but one are eliminated for violating basic bike safety rules. This strange film was narrated by Edward Everett Horton. Script and Direction: Dale Jennings. Photography: Max Hutto. Art Direction: Ralph Hulett. With Dick Hutto, Janice Powell, Lucie Hagens, Ralph Hulett, Clyde L. Johnson, Dave Hembree, Colleen Hutto, Charles Hagens, Kevin Lindsay, Dan Whitehead, Don Moody, Diane Chambers, Shirley Hulett.

Run time 15:00
Producer Interlude Films
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, C


Depicts a group of youngsters riding bicycles to the park for a picnic and pictures the violation of various bicycle safety rules. Pictures, as the children are eliminated one by one because of rule violations, only one arriving at the park for the picnic.

Safety Education Rules Punishment Danger Lurks


Reviewer: Fullervision - - September 22, 2016
Subject: Just one question
What kind of shoes give out like that after running only four blocks?
Reviewer: sammyk1964 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 22, 2015
Subject: Brings back memories.
I haven't seen this in years. Still as creepy & funny as it used to be. Thanks for sharing this hilarious little safety gem.
Reviewer: peppercamp - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 19, 2012
Subject: Creepy
Extremely creepy vintage PSA featuring children in odd monkey masks.
Reviewer: UbetI'mcrazy! - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 9, 2012
Subject: And I thought I was crazy
I just came across this on You Tube from the "Boards of Canada" song "Everything you do is a Balloon". What a work of art. This is a "Bicycle Safety Movie"? I see it as different personalities all trying to ride together on their bikes, yet staying true to their thoughts and beliefs, wearing the monkey masks. They all meet their demise except the little boy who is not wearing a mask. I relate to the girl in the pink shirt. Pushing the others away with her arms, shaking her fists and then eventually breaking away from the rest. Yeah, I have had therapy. I enjoyed reading everyone's reviews, we all have our own thoughts about it, This is just great!
Reviewer: BeachBumRAP - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 9, 2011
Subject: IMDb entry

I see that a Diane Chambers was in it. Why couldn't they have also found a Sam Malone?

I'm guessing that part of this was shot in or near Elysian Park in Los Angeles, Calif. I recognize a tunnel on the Pasadena Fwy (Route 110) immediately east and down slope from Dodger Stadium. The palm tree lined streets where most of the film was shot look like they are located in a foothill community in Pasadena or east of there. It has the typical smoggy sky look of the LA Basin. Too bad there weren't any street name signs visible.
Reviewer: recarter64 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 16, 2011
Subject: WOW!
This film is amazing! Wish the print quality was better,but this is a MUST see!
Reviewer: Pleonic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 15, 2011
Subject: Absurdist Public Service
Ernie Kovacs meets those helpful Coronet Films meets Franz Kafka. I wonder why they didn't list riding with monkey masks on as a safety hazard to avoid? At any rate this is a masterpiece, and certainly more than a mere safety film.
Reviewer: Brutus' - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 15, 2011
Subject: Hilarious
"Slim knew that his big sack would be hard to handle so he asked Orville Slump if he would carry it."
Reviewer: micah6vs8 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 7, 2011
Subject: Who Will Survive?
A hard-core version of Willie Wonka (w/Gene Wilder of course) w/out the candy, just bicycles.
Reviewer: Logical - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 7, 2011
Subject: Primal Bike Safety
The perfectly unsettling safety film, possibly (not) the inspiration for the original Planet Of The Apes. Mr. Horton makes it a who, what, why, WHOA, thriller. Delightful!
Reviewer: jlouok - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 18, 2010
Subject: Tripping?
I saw this video a year or so ago, talk about surreal!
We'd watched it after a night out, so at first thought we were tripping or something...
we had to check it again the next day in a sober state and couldn't believe it was actually for real!
It truly is something different..
Reviewer: Dodsworth the Cat - - December 26, 2009
Subject: Hi-Q Strikes Again
How times have changed. Today, the parents of the dead kids .. uh, monkeys .. would simply hire lawyers and sue for compensation, starting with the woman in the Olds who didn't look in front when she pulled and hit the one kid. There'd be political mayhem over the city worker (who else would be in a steam-roller on a city street?), crushing an innocent child wearing papier-maché. TV cameras would be chasing the mayor for comment. We'd see pictures of the dead young tyke on the mantle in the home of the weepy parents' in an exclusive interview with Barbara Walters.

And the movie makes perfect sense. All your friends get killed on the road, so what do you? Continue on to an empty park and eat.

But the film is obviously effective, even today. I've never seen one child wearing a monkey mask while riding.

I wonder if any of these kids put this epic of the cinema on their resumés? And was Max Hutto the same Max Hutto who directed Fibber McGee and Molly in the early 50s?

For Mr. Carras: the music is a regular Capitol Hi-Q fest here. The first bed if ZR-45 Metropolitan by Geordie Hormel, the opening one is PG 291 City Slicker by Phil Green. The background music for the bulk of the riding scenes in this odd film mostly consists of two cues from the appropriately (and perhaps newly re-) named Bicycle Ride (Loose-Cookerly-Cadkin) and Bargain Sale (Loose).
Reviewer: BNSF - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 25, 2009
Subject: Where's the Sequel?
This has got to be the funniest Safety Video I ever seen. But to be fair, not EVERYONE was harmed in the making of this film, 1) the boy who followed all the rules, and 2) the one who was on foot only got sore feet, not squashed by a steam roller or hit by cars and/or trucks. Otherwise it was funny in an Macabre kind of way!
Reviewer: angelwolf65 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 3, 2009
Subject: Tink Got Tinked!
This is hilarious! Poor Tink got Tinked by a Tanker!
Reviewer: thedeb - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 25, 2009
Subject: Words cannot express my astonishment
Or my consternation, or my laughter, or my nightmares...
This is one of the best and most bizarre things I have ever seen.
Reviewer: Steve Ellison - favoritefavorite - October 22, 2007
Subject: One Got Fat
This turns up regularly on SumoTV in the UK, along with lots of Coronet and Sid Davis films. You can imagine what this channel is like ! They repeat a film of the 1938 soap box derby at least three times a week.
Reviewer: Steve Carras - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 22, 2007
Subject: WOW!
Until I came across this I forgot all about this one.Edward Everett Horton and his loopy demented narration make this a bit like Fractured Fairy Tales on Jay Ward cartoons (which,of course, he also narrated earlier), and the Seely-Capitol stock music (heard on numerous ephermal films such as "The Place to get Well","Century 21" and various others and on various television shows and a few Warner cartoons made in 1957-58, and some sound FX remind me of Gumby (particuarly in the music case most of the cues heard, except for a few like at the beginning which was one of many also in Hanna-Barbera cartoons as well.)(Phil Green, George Hormel,Eddy Lund, Emil Cadkin, Spencer Moore,Jack Shaindlin, Jack Cookly, John Seely, Bill Loose, Hal Bluestone and Henry Russell were among the composers.Some of the cue music may have been on CORONET films, YOUNG AMERICA films, McGRAW HILL & Sid DAVIS films as well.)
Reviewer: mistrb01 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 26, 2007
Subject: Craziest Film Ever
I was telling a friend about this movie that I saw as a kid and how this movie gave me nightmares. I was telling her that I thought that they were crazy to show us this film and that I was subjected to it twice. Once in school and the other at church during Vacation Bible School.

I took a chance and googled "monkey bicycle saftey movie". This was the first site that came up.

I am glad that I was not the only one who remembered the movie.
Reviewer: Throbbing Hyena - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 4, 2006
Subject: Terrifying
I saw this film in grade school and had nightmares for months. I've had many of these images in my head for the past 30 years, and having just watched it again I have to ask - what the hell were the school administrators thinking?!?
Reviewer: DeBose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 13, 2006
Subject: I love the 60's
I got high and watched this several times in school. Then, years later, watched a primus video with a friend and realized that they used this video as backround images for a live show in Chicago. I think this proves that On got fat and Primus are the strangest combination of things that I love. Long live One Got Fat.
Reviewer: gailp - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 16, 2006
Subject: WOW.
GREAT FUN! I saw this in first grade at Palos East School in Palos Heights, Illinois, way back in 1965. The images haunted me for years and I remember asking a friend who went to the same school if she remembered seeing it but she didn't. So, I chalked up the grisly images to a childhood nightmare I must have forgotten.

Now I know I'm not crazy. The ghoulish people with skull-heads really did exist. It's great to see this film again even if it is creepy and hard to understand how this was supposed to teach kids anything. I don't remember thinking it was a lesson about bike safety. I just remember being scared by it.
Reviewer: monkeymask - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 8, 2005
Subject: brings me back!
Yay! I was so happy to find this short film! It made quite an impression on me when I saw it in 3rd grade! People I tried to explain it to many years later thought I was crazy and I even acquired the nickname "Monkeymask" after one attempt! It is wonderfully creepy and absolutely 'bananas'!
Reviewer: thebrix - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 30, 2005
Subject: Phenomenally creepy
What really makes this film is the narrator. He is detached, smug, sanctimonious and, after a few minutes, really gets under your skin; the general form of what he says is "Johnny has been crushed by a steamroller. Oh dear, what a pity, he should have used hand signals".

As others point out, the film is odd enough regarding visuals and content, but that chiding, wheedling, nagging yet strangely emotionless voice really makes it worth downloading!
Reviewer: SantaFe - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 8, 2005
Subject: This has got to be...
...the weirdest Bike safety film I've ever seen. One by one the children dissappear, but not one of the kids seems to notice or care that another one turns up missing or hurt. I think I would say the heck with it after the first accident, but t hen I'd probably BE the first one anyway! ;)
Reviewer: SantaFe - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 8, 2005
Subject: This has got to be...
...the weirdest Bike safety film I've ever seen. One by one the children dissappear, but not one of the kids seems to notice or care that another one turns up missing or hurt. I think I would say the heck with it after the first accident, but t hen I'd probably BE the first one anyway! ;)
Reviewer: Karma Hawk - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 19, 2005
Subject: Wierd Wierd Bycicle Safety Film
One of the Oddest films I've seen here in the archives, this bycicle safety film features a group of kids dressed up as monkeys trying to ride thier bikes to the park. I said "trying" because only one actually makes it. Although I didn't find this as horific as other reviewers found it (you can clearly see that the accident potrayed in this film never actually happened) still thiers a reason why films like this arn't used today. It's kind of funny looking back on these things and wondering why the producers of these movies tried so hard to give children nightmares. A point of intrest is when one of the boys choose "smolders" and we see the "death" animation.
Reviewer: jmcdzzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 14, 2004
Subject: One Got Fat
I remember seeing this fil in grade school in the 60's. It scared the bejeezus out of me. It still creeps me out every time I think of it--and I'm 45 years old!
Reviewer: Marysz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 18, 2004
Subject: Mean Streets
A group of children wearing ape masks make themselves bag lunches and set off on a bike trip to the park for a picnic. The children who fail to follow bicycle safety rules get hit by cars, steamrollers, pedestrians or fall into open manholes. Even though itÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs intended to be humorous, the supposedly child-friendly suburb in this film turns into a deadly place for kids. The one boy who follows all the rules ends up alone at a picnic table in the park without a mask on eating all the other kids' lunches. The film ends with shots of the injured children wrapped in casts in hospital beds and the lonely boy at the picnic table in the empty park. LetÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs hope there are none of the adult male predators around that populate some of the other Sid Davis cautionary films. Even kids who follow all the rules are still at risk.
Reviewer: Eric_Petersen - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 17, 2004
Subject: I saw this movie in school!
I've become a huge Prelinger Archives fan ever since I recently stumbled onto this wonderful website. I was absolutely stunned to find this long lost treasure from my childhood available for download! Believe it or not, I actually saw this movie in school!

It was 1979, I was nine years old, and in Mrs. Wirth's class at Harry L. Edson Elementary School in Kingston, NY. The cafeteria at Edson was extended into the old auditorium after the new one was built. So, they would set up a movie screen on the old stage and a Bell & Howell projector and show educational films and cartoons during lunch.

One Got Fat was one of the many educational films that was shown. It really stuck with me because it was so wonderfully weird and creepy. It must have given many kids nightmares, especially back in 1963 when it was made.

I remember sitting in the dark watching these kids in grotesque ape masks suffering all sorts of horrendous accidents in the name of teaching bike safety. In the darkened lunchroom, I could tell that the teachers were revolted by this film, but the kids got a kick out of it.

Even though this was made by Dale Jennings, it could have easily come from the warped mind of Sid Davis. If you've ever seen a Sid Davis educational film - especially one of his "don't talk to strangers" movies - you know that Davis believed that the best way to teach kids is to scare the living hell out of them.

After seeing this Jennings film, I bet there were a lot of abandoned bikes left to rust in the garage. :o)

Thank you, Prelinger people, for adding this gem to your collection! Please add more "classroom classics" from the 1960s and 70s!

- Eric Petersen
Reviewer: Sarte - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 29, 2004
Subject: Creepy...
Let's just say that if I saw this film as I child, I would've had horrible nightmares about ape-faced children for at least a week. (-1 star for extreme creepiness.)
Reviewer: HuckleberryFinn - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 12, 2004
Subject: Mortality rate for Apechild Cyclists holds steady near 100%
If you're an apechild, stay the **** off of your bicycle, else ya gonna die. A bunch of kids in ape masks suffer a rediculous casualty rate during a short bike ride.

I'm still trying to figure out how a bike with 2 people on it fit down an open manhole, or why the manhole was open, or why the apechildren owned bikes, or why there are apechildren, or why the steamroller didn't slow down/turn, or why the rest of the apechildren don't lend medical aid to the injured ones instead of continuing on their merry way.

This film bothers me on a very fundamental level

5 stars, best in show.

Reviewer: GVelazquez - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 19, 2004
Subject: Deliciously Funny
A welcome break from the usual maudlin fare. Each child's bicycling demise might be handled sort of cavalierly, but it's effective--it makes me want to be the safest bicyclist, ever. And you see that the monkey kids are all recuperating in the hospital after, so it's got a (relatively) happy ending. I wish there were more safety films like this.
Reviewer: cashel - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 18, 2004
Subject: comedy?
This film has been viewed 5401 times and the fine Sid Davis film, Bicycle today, automobile tomorrow, has only be seen only 101 times. Admittedly, the Davis film has no laughs,b ut citizens might also consider that childrens deaths and terrible injuries while cycling have been increasing each year
Reviewer: RepRev - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 13, 2004
Subject: Best editing ever!
Classic film, topped off by the classic moment where a child cycles into two old women who fly up into the tree. Watch it in slo-mo.
Reviewer: L.Milne - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 11, 2004
Subject: One Got Fat
There is so much I could say about this bizzare, child-frightening film. But I think I'll just say this; this is insanely creepy.
Right? Right.
Reviewer: toddonbike - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 10, 2004
Subject: planet of the apes rides a bike
spectacular! as an avid lifetime cyclist this makes me think of all the mistakes and poor judgement i have made all these years. if i had only seen this as a young boy i would probaby have taken up skateboarding.
Reviewer: Tom Servo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 27, 2004
Subject: Oh my goodness
This is quite possibly the most entertaining video on this site, mainly because it's just so freaking bizarre. Just make sure you're not eating anything while you watch this. My friend launched soup all over the place when he saw the first shot when you finally see all their faces.
I think that most young children would probably not even want to go near a bike after seeing this.
Reviewer: Ryan Hennessy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 11, 2003
Subject: Amazing
This is the type of movie that, once a kid sees it, will stay in his head for a long, long time. The images are just haunting. I'm sure that there's lots of people out there who saw this when they were kids, and still recall, in the backs of their minds, something about "monkeys on bicycles." And to have Edward Everett Horton from the Fractured Fairy Tales narrate this makes it all the more surreal. This is my favorite thing that I've found on the Prelinger Archives.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 5, 2003
Subject: Right? Right.
Very strange and surreal short designed to entertain and educated kids but probably terrifying them at the same time. A group of kids go out to have a picnic at a park. They all take their bikes (except one kid, who don't got one anymore) and all but two are suffered a pretty bad fate. (the kid with no bike is spared). They're hit by cars, flattened by steamrollers, falling down manholes etc. They're all wearing monkey masks too, (which seriously can impair your vision, but they don't comment on that). One kid survives to get to the park. What also so is amazing about this film is how everyone just keeps on going when each of the kids is squashed. What does THAT teach? A MUST SEE on this site!
Reviewer: DrAwkward - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 24, 2003
Subject: Brilliant!
This is an astonishing art film in the guise of a bicycle safety short. If the photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard (for a sample of his work, see had made movies, they would have looked exactly like this. The one-little-indian plot allows it to be whimsical, mercilessly ironic, disturbing and fun. And that narration takes the cake. This is the sort of movie you have to show people so that they'll believe it exists, because you cannot describe how weird it is! I loved it!
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 13, 2003
Subject: Planet of the bicyclists
A safety film like no other! How could I have missed this until now! 10 begin but one arrives, the human amongst the apes! And Edward Everett Horton! My God! And the Oscar goes to... !!!
Reviewer: hauber - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 9, 2003
Subject: A classic!
My years of searching for this movie is what led me to discover this great site. I saw this film in elementary school a couple different times, and if you see it you'll understand why it had me remembering it for many years afterward. After the first time we saw it in school, we couldn't even remember the real title and always called it "Monkeys on Bicycles." When you're seven years old, seeing a bunch of kids in ape masks getting run over by steamrollers has less of an effect on making you ride your bike safely than on introducing you to the fact that there's a whole weird world of strange thinking out there to discover! I also loved the canned production music, and after several school viewings over the years my brother and I always remembered the catchy theme that plays at the end when the "good" kid makes it to the picnic grounds. I had forgotten that Edward Everett Horton did the narration, and his narration adds an extra quality touch. Too bad more educational movies weren't like this one! (Brent Walker)
Reviewer: Wilford B. Wolf - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 8, 2003
Subject: Fractured Fairy Tales
Films about bicycle safety could be dull and tedious... but not if you get Edward Everett Horton to narrate. Mr. Horton provided the wonderfully loopy narration for Jay Ward's Fractured Fairy Tales and does a similarly wonderful job here.

They managed to cover all the basics, but having the children in ape masks gives the whole thing a surreal feeling. Some of situations are bit over the top, such as having one child seemingly run over by a steamroller or fall down an open manhole cover. However, there is nothing explicit about the scenes and they drive the point about what could happen if the rules are not followed.

Horton's narration and the totally ridiculous names help prevent the movie from becoming too grusome.
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